‘It breaks my heart’: Residents react to two people being arrested for child abuse after baby was hospitalized

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:17 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Gainesville police officers arrested Emma Smithey,19, and Timothy Smith, 22 after being accused of neglecting and abusing their 4-month-old baby. Now that baby is in the hospital fighting for his life.

According to police reports, Smithey brought the 4-month-old baby to Shands Pediatric hospital with a brain bleed, multiple bruises on his body, bleeding from his left eye, and blood in his diaper on Tuesday days after he was hurt.

Officers said on Dec. 31, Smith claimed he accidentally hit the baby’s head on a door frame while trying to calm the baby down on Saturday. He later admitted to choking the infant and dropping the baby from a large height into the bassinet.

RELATED: Two Gainesville residents arrested for child abuse after infant hospitalized with brain bleed

William Epps is a father of four who thinks that education and guidance were what these young parents needed.

“I have kids of my own and it hurts me to see them just cry for anything,” said Epps. “Take parenting classes, read books, training anything that it is that you don’t know to be able to take care of a child because when you bring a child into this world it’s a lot, you know and that’s a life.”

Many people like Amanda Bradley are shocked by the news and thinks there are other solutions than abusing a child.

“If you’re frustrated with what’s going on, call someone for help, call a family member, reach out to a doctor, reach out to a medical professional,” said Bradley. “I get that they were young but maybe just having that help and healing for them to found the guidance that they needed ahead of time if they were struggling and stressing before that and I know everyone stresses in life.”

The baby is still in the hospital and it is still unsure if he will survive. Both parents were charged with child neglect and smith was charged with aggravated child abuse.

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